DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

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Latest post 12-01-2011 4:08 PM by Drew. 26 replies.
  • 07-11-2011 1:55 PM

    DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    state of CA.

    Got pulled over in a Gated community by the community security. I was driving on a golf cart when they pulled us over. they called Highway patrol to arrest me for DUI. I was not driving when CHP got there. I did blow a .22 so I wasnt going to hire a lawyer but in researching this, I have found conflicting issues. 

    - gated community so it was private property

    - pulled over by a security gaurd who is not a sworn in officer of any sort

    - wasnt driving when CHP actually showed up

    - on a Golf cart

    Any help or tips would be greatly appriciated!

  • 07-11-2011 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    I would hire a lawyer that specializes in DUI if I were you.

    .22 sounds pretty high.  .08 is what's typically considered under the influence.  You are nearly 3 times that.

    All the points you state might make a difference, I don't know.  A lawyer who does this all the time, however, will know. 

    Good luck.

     

  • 07-11-2011 2:12 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    My opinion for the 2cents that it's worth:

    dropdeadmeg:
    gated community so it was private property

    Doesn't matter. You drive on to my private property and I can call the police on you.

    dropdeadmeg:
    pulled over by a security gaurd who is not a sworn in officer of any sort

    By living in a gated community you are obligated to obey the rules that allow a security guard to enforce them. Besides, any citizen could have pulled you over and made a citizen's arrest.

    dropdeadmeg:
    wasnt driving when CHP actually showed up

    Doesn't matter. Witnesses to your driving are all that the CHP needed.

    dropdeadmeg:
    on a Golf cart

    It's a motor vehicle.

    dropdeadmeg:

    Any help or tips would be greatly appriciated!

    Hire a lawyer.

    Join AA. You need help before you kill somebody.

    Well, you asked.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 07-11-2011 4:07 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    dropdeadmeg:
    - gated community so it was private property

    In CA, that doesn't matter. CA Vehicle Code (VC) section 23100 states that "The provisions of this chapter apply to vehicles upon the highways and elsewhere throughout the State unless expressly provided otherwise." The chapter referred to is Chapter 12 of the Vehicle Code, which covers public offenses, including DUI. Thus, the DUI laws apply everywhere in the state, whether on public or private land.

    dropdeadmeg:
    - pulled over by a security gaurd who is not a sworn in officer of any sort

    That won't help you. Private citizens can make citizen's arrests.

    dropdeadmeg:
    - wasnt driving when CHP actually showed up

    All that means is that the state will need to have the security guard who saw you drive testify in court against you to prove the element of the offense that you were driving.

    dropdeadmeg:
    - on a Golf cart

    The CA DUI statute makes it a crime to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. See VC § 23152. Vehicle is defined in VC § 670 as "a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks." I think a golf cart fits within that description of "vehicle" but that's something you should discuss with your lawyer. And I do suggest you get a lawyer to defend you on this.

  • 07-21-2011 2:44 PM In reply to

    • aziggy44
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 07-21-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 13

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    DUI statuetes pertain to operating a vehicle on a public roadway. In your case, that is the question. It does not matter that it was a golf cart, it is stilll considered a vehicle. Recently read about a case about a person asleep in a vehicle in a bar parking lot. Because it was public, that all of the public could pull in there, packages could be delivered, etc. it was considered public. To me gated community means as intended, that it is private. It would amount to you driving in your own driveway, could not be upheld by a DUI conviction, although you could still be risking injury to any member of your household. Same applies here....so be careful!

     

    OkZiggy

  • 07-21-2011 3:44 PM In reply to

    • aziggy44
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 07-21-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 13

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    In my state...a wheelchair is even fair game!

     

    OkZiggy

  • 07-21-2011 5:19 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    aziggy44:
    To me gated community means as intended, that it is private. It would amount to you driving in your own driveway, could not be upheld by a DUI conviction, although you could still be risking injury to any member of your household. Same applies here....so be careful!

    In a number of states, perhaps most of them, you do not need to be on a "public" roadway to be guilty of a DUI. Your screen info suggests you are in PA. PA law is a great example of that. The basic PA DUI law says the following:

    "(a) General impairment.--

    (1) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
    (2) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual's blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle."

    75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802.

    Note that it does not specify that the operation has to occur on a PUBLIC highway. You can be guilty of a DUI operating the vehicle ANYWHERE in the state, including your own driveway. A lot of people have gotten into trouble not knowing the scope of their state's DUI laws.

  • 07-21-2011 5:38 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    By the sound of things, you really DO need a lawyer.

    I was found not guilty of this twice.

    Here is what I will tell you.  My lawyer was able to throw out much of the evidence.  That BAC blow is going to probably be difficult.  Again I'm no lawyer.

    Also, he got the police officers at the scene to contradict he each in court.  One said one thing, then he got the other to say something else.  The judge found me not guilty both times.  It's not easy, and it's very expensive to do this.  Try never to have it happen again!

    Not worth it. 

    Hope you make out ok.  You DO need someone that knows what they are doing if you expect to get through this with the least amount of hassle.

    The laws are likely getting more and more stringent.  You really just need to talk to your lawyer.

    Good luck!

     

  • 07-22-2011 9:51 AM In reply to

    • aziggy44
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    • Joined on 07-21-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 13

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    Thanks for the correction...I have found in my research, that many of these type of convictions have ultimately been overturned on appellate review, and now examine the "totality of the circumstances"

    I agree with you when you say that people get into trouble because of the variations between states, etc. This is what is so disturbing. The laws constantly change with DUI's. The penalties become harsher. But even at the appelllate level, there appears to be absolutely no consistency, in any state. Whether it pertains to operation of a vehicle, what is a vehicle, what is a roadway...etc.

    I agree that DUI is a serious problem and needed to be addressed. However, I believe the lawmakers have taken things way to far on this. What started out as a noble cause has turned into unbelievable civil rights infringements, and what is being seen as a money making scheme.  It is a shame.

    OkZiggy

  • 07-22-2011 10:02 AM In reply to

    • aziggy44
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 07-21-2011
    • PA
    • Posts 13

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    I agree with you superman....in a perfect world, when faced with such serious criminal offenses, we would all consult and hire an attorney. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work out very well. Lawyers are very expensive...not everyone can realistically afford to have, and don't always qualify for a PD. And, in some cases, it just doesn't make sense to hire an attorney. For example, in PA we have a diversionary program for 1st time DUI offenders. The application process can be done on one's own. However, in talking with many others in my state, lawyers are charging in the range of $1,000 or so to process it for you. If one has no chance to defend, ARD is probably well worth it...but you do not need a lawyer, and there is no making out any better with one if one chooses to go this route.

    OkZiggy

  • 07-22-2011 11:02 AM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    The only thing I will say, is if you can possibly avoid having this on your record, and you want to fight it, I'd hire a lawyer if I were you.

    I think if this is your first time, from what my lawyer last told me, they've made it really easy to plead guilty.  He said they were looking to get the repeat offenders.  So just don't ever let this happen to you again.

    Also, keep in mind, it's going to very likely show up on a background check for whatever job you might try to get in the future.  It could also effect security clearance, traveling to other countries, etc.

    I totally understand, if you don't have the money, then you don't.  Just know what you are doing when you do this.  It is likely not something you can go back and change your mind on.

    Good luck!

     

  • 07-22-2011 12:54 PM In reply to

    • LG81
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 01-03-2010
    • Posts 4,338

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    aziggy44:
    I agree with you when you say that people get into trouble because of the variations between states, etc. This is what is so disturbing.

    While I wouldn't necessary use the word "disturbing", I do agree that things can get mucky when traffic laws can vary a lot between states.  If I am a resident of a state, it's my responsibility to know what the traffic laws are.  However, when driving as a visitor to another state, I don't think any reasonable person would be expected to read the DMV manual prior to a couple-of-days' or couple-of-weeks' visit.

    For example, in the state where I grew up and lived for the first 25 years of my life, U-turns areI prohibited unless there is signage that specifically states otherwise.  (I don't know if this law has changed in the many years since I moved away.)  Ignorance of the law is never a defense; however, I wonder how many people passing through get ticketed for a violation of this law that isn't super common.  (In many states, u-turns are permitted unless stated otherwise).

    Another example is where a law changes and folks are not made aware of a change.  Often a person would hear about a major change if local, but how can someone know if not local?  A few years ago, that state I grew up in changed the law on speed in school zones to where the speed limit was in effect 24 hours a day instead of just during school days.  (I think it's a good law since many kids may go to the schools to play on the playground or go to sports practice.)  However, it is/was a situation where a person may not know unless signage changed accordingly.  That particular law went into effect shortly before Thanksgiving that year.  I flew in and rented a car to visit my late mom and family for the holiday.  I would not have known were it not for the fact my late mom told me about it because I would need to pass by an elementary school to get to the house.  (Thank God for moms who think of everything when excited about a child's visit.)

    Addtionally, while it is our own personal responsibilities to know the driving laws of our states, it amazes me that few states require someone taking a written test when transferring a driver's license.  In my last company, everytime I was promoted, I was relocated.  Out of all of the states I have moved to, only one required the written test.  All states did do a DMV check, etc., but only one required the written test.  Even if it requires a higher fee, I believe it is a good idea.

    My next point is a little biased (I'm opposed to imparied driving - whatever form that takes - whether alcohol, Rx drugs, illegal drugs, distractions, etc.).  I believe a good rule of thumb is to just not do it - period.  The stakes are too high.  Even a slow-moving golf cart accident can harm the driver or others.

    aziggy44:
    agree that DUI is a serious problem and needed to be addressed. However, I believe the lawmakers have taken things way to far on this. What started out as a noble cause has turned into unbelievable civil rights infringements, and what is being seen as a money making scheme.  It is a shame.

    I am in no way trying to be argumentative, but I am curious as to what causes you to believe this?  Which civil rights do you believe are infringed?

    Granted, as much as I respect law enforcement, there truly does exist things like quotas, etc.  One of my brothers-in-law is a detective, but started out on highway patrol.  One day, our family conversation turned towards a question about revenue, performance based on tickets, etc.  This man has a lot of integrity.  He did explain these things are real.  He indicated that many police officers are more likely to pull over a car with out-of-state plates (or an obvious rental car) for minor infractions because it is more likely the ticketed person will just pay the fine rather than travel back to the area for a court appearance.

  • 07-22-2011 1:41 PM In reply to

    Re: DUI on a golf cart - should i get a lawyer?

    I wonder what would have happened if you would have ignored the security guard and went home.

    Drunk before or after you got home?

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